Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Late lunch at Spanish Tavern

Spanish Tavern: ExteriorTo celebrate R's birthday, we told him that we would like to take both him and his wife (B) out either for lunch or dinner on the weekend. We also asked him to pick a place either in New York or in New Jersey. Last Thursday he said that he read about the best independent restaurant in New Jersey named Spanish Tavern. He wondered if we would like to try it out, of course we said "ok" since we love to check out new restaurants (especially if they're supposed to be good). We set the reservation for late lunch / early dinner last Saturday at the Mountainside location.

Spanish Tavern: InteriorWhen we arrived there, the big parking lot was half full. It was quite surprising considering it was neither lunch time nor dinner time. However when we entered the beautiful dining room, there were only 3 other tables that were occupied. We later found out there was a party at the private room downstairs.

R and B were already seated since we were 15 minutes late, sorry again guys. They patiently waited, whilst nibbling on the rolls. After we settled, the waiter took our orders. When he came back with our drinks, he and another waiter also brought a big bowl of the complimentary escarole and noodle soup. They doled out the soup tableside and served it to us. The soup was quite tasty. We restrained from asking for refills (which they offered).

Spanish Tavern: Basket of rolls and butter Spanish Tavern: Escarole and noodle soup
Basket of rolls and Escarole & noodle soup

For appetizers, we ordered fried calamari and portobello mushroom to share. The calamari was okay, nothing special, soft but a little bit soggy. However the portobello mushroom was amazing, the perfectly grilled mushroom was covered with crab meat in a flavorful sauce. We liked it so much and decided to order another portion :-)

Spanish Tavern: Fried calamari Spanish Tavern: Portobello mushroom (another view) - no flash
Fried calamari and Portobello mushroom

For entree, my husband ordered t-bone steak au poivre and for me was langostinos (read about this somewhere). Unfortunately the steak was cooked almost well done eventhough he asked for a medium. The meat was still tender though and the sauce was pretty good, however he didn't like it (I think he was still comparing everything to Peter Luger). The langostinos were excellent, I love it! This giant shrimp was grilled to perfection, still tender with a texture similar to lobster, and slightly spicy.

Spanish Tavern: T-bone steak au poivre Spanish Tavern: Langostinos
T-bone steak au poivre and Langostinos

B's entree was a broiled New Zealand lobster tail, it was huge. I was quite excited to try a bite of it, unfortunately it was a major disappointment. It was overcooked which made the texture became too tough and rubbery, it was totally not worth the price of $39.95. On the other hand, R's entree was delicious; it was veal corunesa with wine & brandy sauce and mushrooms. The organic veal was tender and the sauce was wonderful, just a perfect combination.

Spanish Tavern: New Zealand lobster tail Spanish Tavern: Veal corunesa
New Zealand lobster tail and Veal corunesa

Eventhough we were already full, we decided to order 2 desserts to share. No meal is complete without any dessert :-) Both the tartufo (vanilla and chocolate ice cream) and caramel flan was enjoyable but forgettable.

Spanish Tavern: Tartufo (close up) Spanish Tavern: Caramel flan (close up)
Tartufo and Caramel flan

Just before we left, more people started to come since it was almost dinner time. Overall, the food review was a mix -- half was fantastic, the other half was disappointing. The service was good, the waiter was quite nice. Personally, I don't think that we will go back again soon.


Spanish Tavern
1239 Rt 22
Mountainside, NJ 07092
(908) 232-2171

1 comment:

Fiona said...

I have written an article about flan which is on my blog (www.fionaelement.blogspot.com). However, I don't have a photo of flan to add to the top of the article. Would you give me permission to use yours? I would credit you and your own blog.